Do you want to write your own wedding vows but just don't know where to start? It's a bit daunting, or at least it was for me. I wanted what I wrote for my own wedding to be meaningful and honest but not sentimental or sappy. I didn't want it to sound canned or cliche, but it's hard writing about love in an original way. If you're in the same position I was, listen up, or read on.
My sister gave me an old book called "With These Words...I Thee Wed" written by Barbara Eklof. It's a bit cheesy, but there are some good gems that feel heartfelt and meaningful. Here are a few snippets which could inspire you or you could use verbatim.
You once asked me how much I loved you. I should have pointed to the skies, or the sea, or some other endless and unmeasurable thing. All I had were words, and they were incapable of reflecting forms that had no end. Today I answer you with a deed that expresses not only what I think, but also who I am. [...] join me today in sharing our unmeasurable love.
I remember being afraid that I would never find the person about whom all the love songs seemed to be sung, all the poems written, all the words of happiness and devotion spoken. Then came the day of celebration...suddenly I was singing, writing, speaking to the world about my love for you. That day of realization was a blessed one, second only to this day - the day I accept you as my lifelong mate. I, (name), joyfully look forward to loving you, (partner's name), more fully with each passing moment.
I, (name), thank you, (partner's name), for helping me to fill my world with meaning. Thank you for accepting me as I am. thank you for welcoming me into your heart this day and for all the days to come.
Stay with me; learn with me; live by my side; I will do the same faithfully and joyously.
Where there are troubles, I will stand with you; where there are storms, we will weather them together.
You are my beloved, and on this, our wedding day, before family and friends, I (name), commit to you, (partner's name), a life of continued love, respect, honesty and growth.
Where to Start Writing Your Vows
If you just want to write your own vows, start with pondering these questions, which should help get your creativity flowing.
What impressed you the most about your partner the first time you met?
How and when did you realize you were in love?
What do you love most about your partner?
What does marriage mean to you?
Why are you choosing to marry your sweetie?
What qualities do you possess that you feel will contribute to the success of your marriage?
What one words sums up your partner?
What do you feel are the most important qualities you'll need to keep your marriage strong?
What is your greatest hope for the two of you?
Tips on Writing Personal Wedding Vows
Start working on your vows a few months before the wedding, if possible. The more time you give yourself, the easier and less stressful the process will be. If you have an especially difficult time expressing yourself in writing, then really start three months before the big day.
Answer some of the questions above with stream of consciousness-type responses. First just get something written down, don't worry so much about sentence structure and flow at this point.
Pick a theme to give your vows some flow. For example, "past, present, future" is a great theme. Talk a little about how and why you fell in love, how you feel about your relationship and your sweetie today, and your hopes for the future.
Write. Revise. Write. Revise. Repeat
If you have an awesome wedding officiant, you can both send your vows to him/her and let your officiant review them for length, tone and style. It can be super awkward when one member of the couple writes long, serious, sentimental vows while the other writes a few funny sentences.
Print your vows on index cards in a large font (size 14 works great!) and either put them in your pocket or give them to your officiant to hold until the vows section of the ceremony.